Bishop Donald Lippert, OFM, Cap shepherds the Diocese of Mendi, in the mountainous Southern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea. In a place rich in beautiful scenery and strong local culture, Bishop Don proclaims the Gospel of Jesus Christ wherever he can. Whether he ?nds himself in one of the diocese's 30 parishes or 350 rural outstations, the bishop joyfully shares what he knows to be true. "The Church is the people of God, the Body of Christ, the Temple of the Holy Spirit. We are the Church! Indeed, we are the Church if we are formed by the Word of God, nourished by the Sacraments, and sancti?ed by the Holy Spirit."
On World Mission Sunday -- this year, October 24th -- every Catholic in the world is called to pause and consider their part in joyfully making the Gospel known to others by prayerfully supporting the life-giving work of all missionaries, made possible by The Society for the Propagation of the Faith.
Bishop Don is grateful for the help already provided through your past World Mission Sunday support of The Society for the Propagation of the Faith. You have helped him make great strides in modernizing his central churches, retreat facilities, and catechetical training center by funding solar panels to provide reliable electricity. The national electric grid in Papua New Guinea is notoriously unreliable -- when the power goes out, you don't know if it will be gone for a few minutes or a few days!
Bishop Don says, "Sixty years ago, missionaries ?rst came to the Southern Highland Province. With the help of the Holy Spirit, they brought the faith, and the Church was born here. At the time, our Church was like a newborn baby. Missionaries came to look after the Church, as a mother looks after her child. They came from countries where the Catholic faith had been established for many years, thanks to help from The Society for the Propagation of the Faith."
With your help on World Mission Sunday, The Society for the Propagation of the Faith is supporting over 1,100 mission territories like Bishop Don's. They are spread across Asia, Africa, remote parts of Latin and South America, and Pacific Islands like Bishop Don's. As these territories grow from newborns to toddlers, they need our continued help until they can walk and then run on their own!
Please join us, as we grow the young mission Church around the world. On World Mission Sunday, pray and give to the missions: propfaithboston.org.
- Maureen Crowley Heil is Director of Programs and Development for the Pontifical Mission Societies, Boston.